Although you can question its accuracy, you can’t deny the attention-grabbing nature of the wording in this LA Times article:
More than four years after the sector’s initial collapse, housing has become the economy’s silent killer.
With about one-fourth of all houses in the United States in foreclosure or still underwater — their mortgages exceeding their market price — millions of Americans face such severe financial problems that they cannot begin to resume their normal roles as consumers, move to new jobs or finance their small businesses.
Many have little prospect of regaining their lost financial security. The housing bust wiped out more than half the $13.5 trillion that homeowners had in equity in early 2006, according to Federal Reserve data.